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Confederate Congress.
First session.

Friday, April 18, 1862.

Mr. Clay, of Alabama, from the Committee of Commerce, reported back a House bill prohibiting all persons from selling cotton, syrup, &c., and its transportation to or from any port or place in possession of the enemy, Concurred in.

Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, reported back from the Naval Committee a bill providing for the appointment of Chaplains in the naval hospital.

Mr. Semmes reported that the Committee on Flags had again been disappointed by the person entrusted with making the design, and, further, that certain modifications had been suggested to the Committee, which were now under consideration.

The Senate bill increasing the price of postage to ten cents on a letter was taken up.

Mr. Semmes, of La., said the bill did not propose to change the present law regulating drop letters. He was opposed to charging as much for drop letters, or letters to be carried a few miles, as for others to be carried a great distance. There ought to be a discrimination as between distances. The result of this bill is to make the large cities contiguous to each other pay for the transportation of the mails to the almost total relief of the rural population. He preferred rather to abolish the postal system and employ private means of communication.

Mr. Oldham, of Texas, spoke in favor of the bill of the committee, and advocated a uniform system of postage — because it simplified the postal arrangements, and would nearly, if not quite, make the department self-sustaining.

Mr. Yanory, of Ala., offered an amendment to strike out ten cents on all distances to all parts of the Confederacy, and insert the words, charging five cents for all letters to be carried any distance under 100 miles; ten cents on all letters to be carried over 100 miles, and under 500 miles, and fifteen cents for all letters to be carried over 500 miles.

The amendment was lost, by yeas 10, nays 14.

The bill was then passed, fixing the postage uniformly at 10 cents per letter.

Mr. Preston, from the Committee on Military Affairs, asked to be discharged from further consideration of the resolution directing the President to receive into service irregular troops for detached service. Concurred in.

The Senate passed the bill regulating the compensation of deputy postmasters, and then went into secret session.

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